Cattlemen flock to Denver for National Western Stock Show

Are stock shows on your agenda in January and February, or did you draw the short straw to stay home and run the ranch?

Amanda Radke

January 14, 2019

3 Min Read

For cattlemen and women, January marks the beginning of stock show season!

Right now, thousands of beef producers, rodeo fans and western lifestyle enthusiasts are flocking to Denver for the National Western Stock Show (NWSS).

The event is a great place to connect with peers, check out the hot upcoming herd sire prospects, network with industry professionals and enjoy a getaway from the ranch.

The Denver Post recently published an article titled, “NWSS celebrates ‘Year of the Yards’ as big changes loom for Denver institution.”

Written by Joe Rubino, the article highlights the history of the annual event and describes the renovations and improvements that organizers will be implementing in the coming years.

Rubino writes, “NWSS organizers are putting special emphasis on the stock show’s core purpose in 2019, dubbing it the ‘Year of the Yards.’ Big changes — a billion dollar’s worth — are coming over the next four-plus years, including the relocation of the stockyards from the site they have sat on for more than five decades to property to the north. When the show gets going Saturday, Keith Fessenden, a historian and archivist who works on the property, recommends that folks take the path that leads west under the railroad tracks to the yards and drink it all in.”

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While organizers are excited for a rebirth of the site, others are sad to see changes made to the historic yards.

Joey Freund, Running Creek Ranch manager and co-owner, told the Denver Post, “Gosh, if they tear down the old stockyards, can we ever duplicate what happened in the old ones with the new set of pens? It will definitely have a different feel.”

I imagine even if the vibes change, cattlemen will still flock to attend the stock show, which is celebrating its 113th year in 2019.

My in-laws are currently at the show, but sadly, I’m stuck at home. Between calving and taking care of three kids under the age of five, I’ve got my hands full at home. We have bulls consigned at three additional stock shows in January and February, and I’ve drawn the short straw for all three events.

A family friend of ours, who is in his 70s and has been in the cattle business his entire life, was talking to me the other day about being the person who stays at home to run the ranch while the rest of the family attends the stock shows and sales.

He told me he had joined the “FFA club,” which, in this case, translates to “Farmer Feeds Alone.”

Perhaps you are gearing up to head to NWSS or one of the many regional stock shows happening in your area. Or maybe you’re like me, spending the winter raising kids, cattle and keeping things running at home.

Related:Seedstock 100: Think you are just buying bulls? Think again...

Either way, it’s a great time of year to learn more about the latest industry trends, new genetics and more. Thankfully, with the Internet, we can access shows and sales online from the comfort of our home office. This allows us in the FFA club to catch up on the big happenings at the stock show, even if we aren’t there in person.

While I’m thinking about it, in addition to stock shows, the 2019 Cattle Industry Convention and Trade Show is quickly approaching. Even if you’re not in New Orleans for the big event, you can count on BEEF to provide on-the-ground coverage from the nation’s largest cattle industry event. Senior Editor Burt Rutherford, along with most of the BEEF staff, will be live at the show, and we’ll be sure to share highlights as the event unfolds!

Make sure you’re subscribed to BEEF Daily, Cow-Calf Weekly and BEEF’s additional resources, so you don’t miss any updates from these events and more!

The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of or Farm Progress.

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